Generational Clashes in the ‘Burg

As you have probably read by now, Barack Obama's win on election night saw a flurry of celebrations, street parties, and near-riots across the city. Williamsburg's was particularly notorious as sometime after midnight, the NYPD showed up dressed to the nines for a full-on riot, and nearly started one with their ambitious crowd-controlling tactics.

After three local residents were arrested, and a handful of YouTube clips showed angry cops cursing and shoving people around, and community outrage grew on local blogs (read the comments). But where was this outrage coming from? A New York Times article published shortly after the election night events focused largely on the elderly, long-time residents of Williamsburg, and offered a different perspective other than the cries of police brutality from the city's youth voices.

At a community meeting last night in 'Burg, those voices clashed again and again as a rarely acknowledged generational gap reared it's loud, ugly head. The recent arrivals commonly known as "the hipster" descended on the meeting to calmly protest their "alleged distreatment" at the hands of the police.

However, according to the Brooklyn Paper, "Each anti-cop comment at the meeting of the 94th Precinct Community Council was met with increasing vociferousness from old-time residents." The older residents argued that the street was no place for a street party, and the "anarchy" caused three cops to get injured.

In the end, the Paper acknowledges that these arguments stem from that deeper, simmering underlying difference between these two cultures in one of the city's fastest growing neighborhoods. "The undercurrent, of course, is that many longtime residents feel just as angry as the youngsters about what is happening in a neighborhood that has seen rapid change and gentrification over the last 15 years."

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